Let's do a little visualization exercise! Close your eyes! Remember back to when you were a child or young adult. Your family went out to eat for a treat or celebration dinner or maybe it was just payday for dad. You went to your favorite diner. Ours was the Burlington Diner. Then picture yourself being seated in your favorite booth with your brothers and sisters and mom and dad all around that wood grain formica table. You asked your parents for a quarter to play a selection from the juke box. As you flip through the pages on the table side selector, you fight with your sister about what song to choose. Eventually your father takes the quarter away and plays Charlie Rich, The Most Beautiful Girl in the World. UGH! DAAAAD!!! But you enjoy it anyway while you are choosing from the menu. So much to choose from! Burgers, club sandwiches, fried chicken, eggplant or chicken parm, my usual choice of roasted turkey, stuffing, and fries with gravy, but sometimes I looked forward to getting the Salisbury steak and always leave room for a parfait glass full of green gelatin with whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream with chocolate syrup. Simple food, good company happy memories. Ok, now you can come back to reality.
Today I want to share with you something that harkens back to that Burlington Diner salisbury steak. Something that I have come to know, since moving to the south. The hot hamburger plate. Nothing special really except that this is good, old fashioned comfort food. Not salisbury steak which has been fanicfied and dolled up with eggs, herbs and bread crumbs. A mini meatloaf if you will. No, the hot hamburger plate is the southern diner's answer to that fancier fare.
Simple to make with good quality ground chuck, seasonings and an old fashioned pan gravy made with pan drippings, flour and beef stock. Yes, this is comfort food at it's best. The kind that you will find on any self respecting diner, truck stop or cafe menu in the south. For that matter, we go to a burger joint that boasts this offering on their menu as well, served with fries instead of mashed and the burger is laid on top of a thick piece of Texas toast. A feast fit for a king! I almost always see a senior patron enjoying this selection every time we go.
Well cooked burger patties, simmered in thick brown gravy served with mashed potatoes and green beans. I also served this with some sauteed mushrooms. Grilled onions are also a great accompaniment as well. You make this how you like it. Next time, I am going for the grilled onions too!
I am not sure why we don't have this more often. It is delicious, economical and filling. Always have enough left for lunch for two the next day. This could even be done as a leftover makeover using grilled burgers from earlier in the week. If you love to plan ahead, this would be a great use for those patties!
I hope you enjoyed our little trip down memory lane. I hope that you give the hot hamburger place a coveted spot on your weekly menu in coming weeks. I think you will be glad you did! Then think about all those other things you used to love as a kid when you got the great chance to eat at the diner or truck stop or cafe. Make those things too! Introduce them to your children or grand children. Tell them your story around the dinner table! Those are priceless moments you cannot purchase but they will be cherished!
I hope you try this and I hope you love it!
You can see how I made this in my YouTube video here:
Hot Hamburger Plate
2 pounds ground round
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1 teaspoon season salt
1 teaspoon steak seasoning
1/4 cup to 1/2 cup all purpose flour
4 cups beef stock or consommé
Step by Step Instructions
Combine ground chuck with spices and mix well by hand to incorporate.
Shape into 6 patties. Poke a hole in the middle of each patty for even cooking.
Heat a cast iron skillet or heavy bottomed skillet or griddle over medium high heat.
Place burger patties on to cook. You may need to do this in batches if you have more than your pan can accommodate.
Cook for about 5 being sure there is a nice crust. Then flip and cook for an other 5 minutes.
When burger patties have been cooked completely, remove from pan to a plate lined with paper towels. Set aside.
Drain the fat from the pan and wash out your pan.
Return a few tablespoons of the fat back to the cleaned pan and whisk in the flour over medium heat.
Add the beef stock and whisk well to incorporate.
Continue to cook over medium heat stirring to avoid lumps until the gravy has thickened to your liking.
Add the cooked burgers back into the pan and turn to cover in gravy. Allow to simmer for 5 minutes.
Turn off the heat and allow to sit for five minutes before serving.
Serve with mashed potatoes and green beans, maybe a biscuit. Now you have a southern style, down home hot hamburger plate that would make any roadside diner, homestyle café or truck stop proud!
Get a printable copy of this recipe on my website: http://bit.ly/2aDOTqC